How to Fix an iPad That is Running Slow

Tech Tips

It seems like all technology slows down with time, and your iPad is no exception. When it’s brand new, your device seems so quick and snappy. It’s shiny, exciting, and has so many features! But with age, systems seem to run more along the pace of molasses than lightning speed. If you have an older model, you may notice your once-pristine iPad lacks the power a newer model has when technology progresses faster than your tablet can keep up with.

But more often than not, an older model iPad has also simply weathered some wear and tear that’s left it performing slower than it did the day you bought it. Try these tips and tricks to help you increase the efficiency and performance of your tablet, whether it’s the newest model or an old friend.

A Simple Restart Can Help

The reason your iPad is running slowly could be as simple as restarting it, so try this step first. Sometimes your iPad just needs a minute to breathe. As it’s running, your iPad is multitasking so many different directives and saving so much information as it goes, it can get a bit confused. One of the simplest things you can do to help your iPad move more quickly as it operates is to restart it. 

This will allow it to let go of all the short-term memory it’s been holding onto as you flip back and forth between apps. It can start fresh, much like you or I need a good sleep at the end of the day so we can start fresh tomorrow. Try starting with this tip, and then repeat it after each tip you follow to give your iPad a chance to catch up and reset its memory.

Allow Apps to Run in the Background

You’ve probably heard that shutting down unused apps several times throughout the day is a great way to help your iPad function more quickly while conserving battery life. It makes sense, right? Why leave those apps running when you aren’t using them? Wouldn’t making sure your iPad isn’t doing any extra work help it in the long run?

Well, wrong. Your iPad is specifically designed to leave background apps running on standby while you flip between apps. And unless the app is using your camera, streaming music or video or fetching your location in the background, it’s doing virtually nothing while it sits on standby. However, the power and memory required to close and start most apps exceeds that of leaving them humming in the background.

So next time you’re tempted to double-tap that home button so you can flip through and close out all your apps, consider only closing the ones you know you won’t be using for a long time. Leave your favorite productivity and social apps running in the background, because closing and re-opening could hurt the performance of your tablet. Check location services to make sure none of the apps you leave running are using your location info in the background to further conserve battery life, too.

Clear Your Cache

You might be surprised to learn that your iPad doesn’t just use its memory to store things like photos, music, and documents. While most of your storage is used for those bits, the rest is utilized in operating the device. And when you’re low on space, your tablet has less wiggle-room in its operating memory. 

While you might not want to completely remove many of your valuable projects, memories, and entertainment from the device, your iPad could be storing much of your recent history that you’d never think twice about losing. This information is called your “cache”. So if your iPad is acting bizarrely or slower than normal, consider following these steps to free up some space on your cache.

How to Clear iPad Storage Space

1. Go to your Settings app.

2. Scroll down to the Safari tab and click it.

3. Tap Clear History and Website Data. You will be prompted to confirm. Do this to complete clearing your Safari Cache. (You will be logged out of any website you’re logged into and your recent search history will be deleted.

4. Next, head back to the main page of your Settings app.

5. Tap the General tab. Then tap iPad Storage.

6. Your iPad will take a moment to calculate all the space that’s been used versus what’s still available. It will then give a breakdown of what kind of storage is being occupied on your device.

7. Next, your iPad will recommend simple solutions to free up some space like deleting old text messages and attachments in email. Follow all or some of these suggestions to free up space.

8. Scroll down on the same page to see which apps you can live without. Your iPad will organize your apps by how much space they take up on your device, so you can make an informed decision on which apps to delete to save the most space.

More than likely, you’re using a lot of space on your iPad you don’t even know about. Beyond all the photos you’ve been saving, you might be taking up space with texts you’ll never read again, email attachments you’ll never open, and apps you’ve forgotten you have. Clear as much of this as you can and your iPad will start to run more smoothly.

Update Your iPad

Every update Apple rolls out is intended to help their systems operate more smoothly and work out some bugs in previous operating systems. Updates help keep your tablet as secure as possible while helping it run more efficiently.

But beyond that, apps and their updates cater to the newest operating system. Every time your apps update, if your tablet is running on an older OS there’s yet another clash in the system. You want all your software to sync up and jive while you’re using it, so make sure you’re running the latest and greatest updates available to your device by following these simple steps.

How to Check for A Software Update

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Scroll down and click on the “General” icon.
  3. Next click on “Software Update” to check for updates.
  4. If there’s an update available, follow your tablet’s instructions to install it.

If you follow these tips routinely, your iPad will run much more smoothly. It’s astounding what a little knowledge and maintenance can do in extending the life of the technology we depend on! But if you’ve tried everything and still can’t get your iPad up to speed, give us a call at uBreakiFix. With hundreds of locations, we’re on stand-by to make your life easier by maintaining the technology you love.

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